Getting To Know: Hanna Mathilde of The Wildly Design
Hanna and I connected earlier this summer, and I feel so incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to work with her these past couple of months. She is an impeccable graphic and web designer (seriously, go check out her website to see what I mean!). Working with Hanna has been like a dream for me, and I am so eager to share a bit more about her with each of you.
Her aesthetic is fun and playful, and I deeply admire her drive to build her business around the life she wants to live. She is passionate about creating a more sustainable world, traveling at eery opportunity, and using her gifts to help others show up as their best self. Not to mention, we bond over our kitty love on the regular! :)
If you are a wellness professional or coach looking to up-level your branding and online presence, then Hanna is most certainly your gal. Keep on reading to get to know her a little better.
I always love hearing the stories of people’s backgrounds and how that led them to where they are now. Will you share more of how The Wildly Design came to be?
I’ve always grown up being creative since almost everyone in my family is an artist. Collages, drawing, yearbooks and making my own website in my early teens using Geocities (be prepared for some crazy sites if you look it up!). However, I enjoyed more organising and coming up with layouts than creating a whole illustrated picture. So when it was finally time for me to decide what creative field to choose, graphic design just was perfect. I studied Visual Communication design and really found my passion.
When I started Uni, my mom registered a business name for me (Hanna Mathilde Design), so I started with some freelance jobs while studying. I was also working at a marketing agency where I learnt a lot and at the same time doing a web and interaction design masters degree. A few years working at three other agencies and studios, I found out that I loved working with my own clients 1:1 and I got to have fun and be more creative.
Last year I decided to work for myself because I was more passionate about my freelance work and making a difference with my clients. I changed the name to The Wildly Design because I wanted to be my own wild self and reach out to people that wanted to feel the same.
What aspect of your work is the most life-giving for you?
It might seem so simple, but I love making something work visually. That people are engaged and understand things more because of how it looks. I used to have a lot of problems with learning at school and adding diagrams, colours and highlighting the most important information made it so much easier for me. During my studies it was a lot about how we all learn differently and I finally started to understand that it was nothing wrong with me, that we all have different personalities and ways our brain works.
Was there ever a time when you happily ignored external validation or outside advice about your business so that you could follow the True North that you created for yourself? If so, how did making that choice to follow Your Why impact not only you, but your business?
I think most people in my life have been supportive. However, since almost everyone in my family work for themselves or as creatives, I felt that they were hinting to work for a company since they know how hard it can be. However, I’m a person that needs change and also to work close with clients and I didn’t see that happening anywhere I was employed. I was also struggling with anxiety and depression, so I decided to trust my gut instinct and to follow my own Why. It’s hard, but so rewarding once you stop caring so much about what others think and do what you really love.
You’re from Norway, and currently live on Jersey, one of the Channel Islands. Do you find that elements of your Scandinavian background and/or living life on an island impact your design aesthetic? If so, do you feel a stronger pull from one over the other?
Hard question, because I feel like I’m very much impacted from everything around me. I’ve lived in Norway and Jersey, but also grew up in Bali and Thailand and lived in Australia during my studies. I try to focus more on finding my client's own unique style. I've always liked standing out and try to not go for trends, so I make something that is unique to the project or business. It’s more important to me being able to work with people that believe in the same things than where they are from. Having an artistic family also made me more influenced by art in all forms and how important small details are.
What I find some compelling about your work and is that your education and previous experience is steeped in interactive design and user experience design. For those of us who may not know as much about what exactly that means, can you share more about why this is so impactful for how you design websites for your clients?
We all love something that looks beautiful and that works well, and I think a lot of times we don’t know quite why it does that. I’ve always been creative and artsy, but also was quite lucky to start early because my mom used it for her business. A lot of people will say that graphic and web design are two different things, but they both are how it reaches out to the right audience. I choose to continue doing a masters in web and interactive design because the focus of my degree was also on education. I worked a lot with websites and apps to make sure that it was easy to use, but also was interesting and captured their attention.
When designing we also need to think how people perceive it, find the information and get engaged. Something beautiful might not work for the right target market. Where everything is placed, colours, layouts, text and a visual story makes a site more interactive and easier to use. When working on a client's site, I research their dream clients, who they are and how to make their site work for them.
With a job like graphic and web design, I can see multiple parts of the process being extremely creative and fun where you can really like your creativity shine. That being said, do you have a favorite?
All parts! Haha, I absolutely love everything about being a graphic and web designer. The part that stands out most is after the clients is onboard with the moodboard and then coming up with the ideas. It’s so exciting to see which direction they choose, and I can sketch more specific solutions and really push their goals. All my clients are different with how they express themselves creatively, so I’m here to make sure that it comes out visually appealing and that it reaches their goals and dream clients.
As a business grows, a rebrand can be a really great way to start fresh with this new phase of business. But how do you know when it’s time? And when a business is considering a rebrand, what questions do you think are most important to consider before choosing your designer?
Using the time to research new designers is definitely a good start. It’s better to find someone that you find inspiring and that they have various projects that speak out to you. It’s also important to look for a full rebrand and not just a logo, to make sure it’s all cohesive. Once you've noticed your business is growing, and if you are a bit embarrassed about giving your business card or website out, I think this is when you need to start thinking, “Where do I see my business going?”. Write down your future goals (the bigger and crazier the better!) and make sure that your new designer knows where you want to be and not just where your business is currently.
Who are some designers and/or brands that are currently inspiring you?
There are so many amazing businesses that are really pushing the norm and want to make a difference. They talk about things that are difficult and that wasn’t very accepted just a couple of years ago. I love listening to Being Boss, Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert and The Marie Forleo Podcast. Bloggers that are making an impact like Waterthruskin and a documentary I saw that is truly inspirational is Given.
You recently completed a 30 bays in 30 days challenge, which seemed like so much fun coming from landlocked Austin, TX! What are some other of your favorite aspects of island living?
Jersey is a very small island, but so beautiful. The bays and coasts are amazing to explore. I usually walk along the cliff paths while listening to podcasts, swimming in all the 30 bays, and my favorite has been learning how to surf. I can get anywhere pretty quickly, which is so relaxing. Only big problem is that it has a small airport and I love traveling, so I need to plan ahead... However, if you do come over, let me know!
Let’s get dreamy for a bit. What does wild success look like for you and your business?
Having my own Wildly business is so amazing because I get to have the freedom to be wherever I want to be and work the way I think is best for me. When I started working at studios and agencies, I found it so hard that they weren’t that creative, they didn’t work well with the clients and I wanted to explore my ideas further. Who I am, how I work and what I produce has greatly improved by going my own way. It’s so hard at times, but making sure I’m not doing everything myself and finding others to work with has made it a lot more enjoyable.
BONUS: Please feel free to share anything else that is coming to the surface or that you’d like to share. It can be something fun, silly, informative. If the rest of these questions got the juices flowing, but you feel like you have something else to say - here’s the space to do it. :)
If you haven’t taken the Myer Briggs 16 personality test yet, do it here! Seriously, such an interesting test to do and once you get the results you will be quite shocked how accurate it is + look at the beautiful design! I’m INFJ, super sensitive, driven and a perfectionist. INFJ types also often take a different road when it comes to work, usually creative businesses and start working for themselves. It has helped me understand myself and also how people are so uniquely different.
Want to know more? Eager to connect with Hanna? Here's how:
Want to work with Hanna?
I work hand-in-hand wellness professional and coaches to stretch their creative ideas so that they can transform their brand identity and website and it becomes their inspirational online space to share their wisdom and empower their tribe. If this feels like you, then head on over to my website to learn more and send me a message.
Fun little extra:
I’m doing this fun little project where I create background wallpapers for desktop and phones. All you have to do is send me your mantra, an inspirational quote or just something that will motivate you every time you look at your screen. Email me or send me a DM on Instagram, and I'll get started!